I’ve been visiting the local libraries since I was a young child. I took my daughter to her first Moms and Babies class there before she could even crawl. Surely there is something for everyone at the library. For those who don’t share our love of reading, the institution has done a great job of keeping up with modern technology and offering the latest in technological benefits (research databases, homework helpers, etc.) along with its collections of books and movies. Libraries are wonderful.
Recently I had the opportunity to visit the world’s biggest library, the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., which is home to almost 142 million items preserved on approximately 650 miles of bookshelves. The collections include more than 32 million books and other print materials, 3 million recordings, 12.5 million photographs, 5.3 million maps, 5.6 million pieces of sheet music and 62 million manuscripts. The Library is comprised of three buildings and is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The first building completed, in 1897, was the Thomas Jefferson Building. The exhibits there include a three-volume Gutenberg Bible, one of only three perfect vellum copies in existence; the American Treasures Gallery, which includes Jefferson’s handwritten draft of the Declaration of Independence among its treasures; and President Jefferson’s private library, which formed the core from which the present collections of the Library of Congress developed.
The Thomas Jefferson Building is a gorgeous place. Its elaborate interior is embellished by works of art from nearly fifty American painters and sculptors. I could go on with paragraphs of details about the artwork, but instead I’ll just show you some of my vacation photos. This is a lovely building to visit if you’re ever in Washington. Meanwhile, if you’d like to see and read more about the Library, click on the link below the photos.